Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Silly dog

Max always looks so silly (or slightly terrifying) when he lays on his back & hangs his head over the edge of the couch.

I finished the Monarch shawl while I was at work over the weekend.  One full day ahead of schedule, I'll have you know!

It obviously needs to have the loose ends woven in & a good blocking.

I finally got around to blocking the Ladder scarf.  I love the subtle, manly browns & grays of the yarn.

Here's a picture of the stitch detail:

The scarf was knit with Knit Picks' Chroma in the Fossil colorway on #5 needles & I only used one skein of yarn.  The stitch pattern was a simple, two row repeat of multiples of 8 + 3 stitches.  The pattern is:

  • Row 1:  K1, Sl1, *YO, K2, SK2P, K2, YO, K1,* K1
  • Row 2: K1, Purl across to last stitch, K1

Meanwhile, more deer have come to visit.

I never realized what big ears deer have.  They look like they could fly.  Maybe they really are Santa's reindeer.

And yes, this photo shamed us into mowing the grass.  I guess it had been a while.  :(

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Bad Hair #5

It's TBT & the fifth & final bad hair photo I'll show you.

Not even going to try to describe what was happening in the photo.  Just saying that I must have been reaching for God with those poofed up bangs.

In knitting news, I finally finished the ladder scarf.  

I haven't blocked yet.  At the moment, I'm counting finishing it as a monumental event.  I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy that project.  The yarn was lovely & the pattern was easy to remember.  I'd say it was due to the dull grays & browns of the yarn, except I seem to be into grays & browns at the moment.  Maybe it was just because it was five feet of the same two rows being repeated.  Whatever.  It's done.  Well, except the blocking....

Can you tell I enjoy blocking almost as much as I enjoy scrubbing toilets?  It's one of those tasks that you never ever want to do but you're so glad you did it when you're done. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dasher & Dancer

It's only October but the reindeer are fattening up in preparation for their annual journey.

Okay, so maybe they aren't reindeer, but they are certainly fattening up.  In our yard.  Just steps away from our front door.  And our barking, snarling dogs.  Our dogs do not appreciate interlopers in their yard, even if the interlopers might be Santa's helpers.

That was yesterday.  Today, it's pouring down rain & I'm celebrating the rainy day by watching Paul Walker movies & knitting.

Normally, it would be Buffy re-runs and knitting but a new Paul Walker movie popped up on Netflix and, well, who can resist Paul Walker?  Certainly not me.

The Monarch shawl is coming along nicely.  I probably shouldn't jinx myself by saying this, but it's progress is right on schedule.  I only have to knit two green stripes per day in order to finish it by Monday.  Thankfully, the shawl's color is slightly off in that picture.  In real life, the blues & greens are deeper & less shiny looking.  Apparently, Paul's radiance was casting a weird light.  But who cares. Paul can do anything he wants.

Well, those green stripes aren't getting any shorter so I better get back to them instead of blathering on about my TV boyfriend.  I'll leave you with a shot of Vixen.  Okay, okay, okay - it's Vixen's wife.  What ever.  She was close enough to lean over the porch railing and pet.  Isn't she beautiful?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I love my job!

Have I mentioned how much I love my "day" job?  The job that's actually at night?  The job where someone direct deposits a paycheck into my account every few weeks?  I LOVE my job!  Know why?

Yep, at work, I can read & knit with my feet propped up.  And it's not even a knitting related job.  It's a job at the local theme park.  And apparently, I can even sport super awful manicures.  (That's four week old glow in the dark nail polish that actually glows in the dark & scares me each night when I cut the light off to go to bed.  You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but nope.  It still startles me each & every night.)  But back to how much I love my job....  Yes, we all bitch & moan about the long hours, the late nights (more like mornings,) having to walk around in the rain & once last year, sleet & snow.  It's hot.  Really, really hot.  Except when it's cold.  When it's cold, it's freezing.  But the people are great, the employee cafe is better than expected and have I mentioned - I can knit & read.  I can knit & read my own personal stuff while I'm at work.

My job covers three different areas & each day I get assigned to one of those areas.  Mostly, I'm assigned to being "Banker" which means I spend eight to ten hours in a little room all by myself.  I think I'm Banker so often because I tend to complain, loudly, about being either hot or cold & when they send me off to that little room for the evening, they don't have to listen to me complain.  Whatever.  I love being Banker.  The Banker's job has short periods of crazy, frenzied work mixed with hours and hours of absolutely nothing to do time.  In other words, knitting time.  Oh yeah, I love my job!

By the way, that's the hen sock.  The next time I'm the Banker, that sock will be seeing a heel.

Oh, and I'd like to personally thank Jilliane Hoffman,  author of Pretty Little Things for making me cry at work.  The book was a suspenseful, can't-stop-reading page turner.  But that last page, phew!  That last page was a tear jerker.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Fiber Fest

As if candy corn, lower humidity & leaves changing colors weren't enough reasons to love fall, there's another, even bigger reason.  Even bigger than candy corn!  It's the Montpelier Fall Fiber Festival.

Despite showing up wearing an acrylic, GoodWill sweater & not a single stitch of hand knitting on my person (I blame that on total lack of sleep,) it was a huge success this year.  The weather was absolutely perfect!  I don't think I've ever been to a fiber festival in good weather before.  When I think back, it's always been 98 degrees with 400% humidity or pouring down rain.  Sometimes freezing cold & pouring down rain.  But this year, ahhh....  weather bliss.  Blue skies without a cloud in sight & low to mid 60's.  It just doesn't get much better than that.  The sheepdog trials were fun to watch & the runaway sheep incident made them even more interesting.  The strawberry lemonade was to die for, even though we thought we might actually die from the number of bees circling the stand.  But what was best was the shopping.  Oh, the shopping!

I took my daughter along to keep me under control, but it turns out, she's an enabler, not a credit card protector.

As you can see, I was too excited about my new yummy yarns to photograph them before winding a few.  First on the winder was a wool/silk combo from Dirt Woman Fiber Arts.  I'm knitting their Monarch Shawl pattern which was free with the purchase of the yarn.

The next yarn to go on the swift was Blue Ridge Yarns' Colorburst in the River Rocks colorway.   Pre-winding, the skein had a lot more gold & browns in it & matched my State Fair hen colors perfectly.

I was SO excited to find this colorway and especially to find it made by Blue Ridge Yarns.  I've knit several other projects with Blue Ridge and have always been very happy with the results.  Even though the socks are turning out to be a bit bluer than expected, I'm quite happy.  Besides, there's nothing wrong with river rocks.

What is wrong is that, yikes!  I have to go get ready for work.  More about the other wonderful yarns & patterns in future posts.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Bad Hair 4

It's TBT...

And things obviously didn't improve with age.  Or with a perm.  Good Lord!  It wasn't even a real perm, it was a "loose body wave" that was supposed to make those natural waves on the side of my head behave.  Not!  Not only did this lovely loose body wave give me tight, kinky curls, it never relaxed.  Never, ever.  I had to cut it out.  I had to let it grow a bit, cut it, grow, cut, grow, cut...  I've done some really stupid things in my life but that perm was, & will always be, the number one regret.  Good grief!

Friday, October 3, 2014

State Fair, 2014

My daughter & I had a good time at the State Fair.  The weather was cooperative & there were lots of things to see & do.

The baby duck slide is always a popular attraction.

I'm not sure if this guy was a pigeon or a dove, but I was fascinated with his long legs & big, poofed out chest.

I'm officially in love with the colors in this chicken.  Browns, golds and blues.  I must find yarn to match!  I MUST!

A rattlesnake handler.  The guy had four or five Rubbermaid tubs full of rattlesnakes & while handling them, he'd let them crawl along his handling stick to within just a few inches of his hand before he'd rearrange them.  Ugh!  Gives me the willies just to type about it.

The goats were playing king of the mountain.  I like the way that chicken is peeking into the photo.  I didn't notice it there when I took the photo.

My woolly friend.  This particular sheep was very friendly.  He came right over to us as soon as we stepped near his pen & he licked & nibbled my fingers while we admired him & his friends.

I was a disappointed with the lack of knitting displayed but I loved this basket.  I'm not sure what the display was for exactly, but who wouldn't love a basket with an in-progress sweater & yarn, a bottle of vodka & a giant container of headache pills.  I know I could have used that basket when I got home from the fair!  Yesterday's comment about hoping I didn't jinx the scarf....  Well, you know how that went.  I spent over two hours last night knitting & tinking four rows on that blasted scarf.  I desperately needed vodka & a giant bottle of Excedrin.

Of course the fair offered tons of fried foods.  I didn't try any deep fried Kool-Aid or a Krispy Creme burger or sloppy joe, but I could have.

And of course, the lights.  I absolutely love the lights at the fair.